“Playing locally is a lot of fun for us,” says bassist/vocalist Lysa Opfer. “When we do, we’re usually playing with and for a roomful of friends, so of course it’s kind of a party—with a big, drunk hug at the end. And then we all go home to our own apartments and sleep in our own beds.”
It was a busy year for Opfer, guitarist/vocalist Tom Barrett and drummer Nick D’Amore, as 2015 saw Overlake splashing out all over the country with an ambitious tour schedule.
“Touring is fun for us too, but there are so many more things that go into it. We ask ourselves questions like, ‘Do we have enough money for gas?’ or, ‘Who’s the designated driver?’ or, ‘Did we actually make any money?’ or, ‘Where the heck are we sleeping?'” says Opfer. “We worry about whether or not gigs will get canceled at the last minute (they have been), or if a band is going to unexpectedly drop off the bill (they have), or if all our gear will work properly (it has, mostly). We’ve also met some incredible people along the way, and it’s something that I personally look forward to every time we go out. Our friends and fans make every city worth it; they are beacons of light in otherwise strange, dark lands.”
Since its formation in 2012, Overlake has truly evolved into a fan favorite here among the Hudson County music scene. “When we started this band, we were coming from a strong set of influences, all of which have found a place in our sound,” says Opfer. “We usually attribute our greatest inspiration to bands like My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur, Jr., and Sonic Youth, and if you hear components of those in our music, you should. They were our teachers, our role models; their songs were the pieces we used to practice on as we were learning how to play. The challenge of course is then separating away from all that and finding a distinct voice, something that challenges and gives people something that, while familiar, is new. We are constantly finding ways to challenge ourselves, and I hope that comes through in our music.”
Though based out of Jersey City, the draw to play Hoboken venues still remains. “I think both cities have their people, who drive the respective scenes in great ways, especially in terms of original music. Lots of us thought that, with the complete gentrification of Hoboken, the music scene would be dead. That is not the case,” says Opfer. “There are a lot of super-talented people that live in Hoboken and are still playing tons of shows and carving out venues where we all thought there would be just an empty black hole of despair. For example: let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Maxwell’s. We never thought we’d ever play there again. And well, here we are. Dave Entwistle has been doing an amazing job of keeping live, original music in Hoboken, and truly, this is one of Hoboken’s charms.”